- Bridges, Harry
- (1901-1990)Born in Australia, militant trade unionist Alfred Renton Bridges became known as Harry after he had come to the United States in 1920. He joined the Industrial Workers of the World in 1921 and later became an active trade union organizer within the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) among the dockworkers and longshoremen of San Francisco, California. In May 1934, he led the West Coast Longshore Strike. In 1935, he was elected president of the pacific coast district of the ILA. The pacific branch left the ILA in 1937 to form the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union and affiliated with the Congress of Industrial Organizations. Attempts to deport Bridges in 1938 on the grounds of his supposed membership in the Communist Party of the United States of America failed in 1939. A second attempt in 1941 also failed, and the Supreme Court overturned the attorney general’s attempts to insist on deportation in 1945. In 1949, Bridges was tried for perjury because of his denial of Communist Party membership when he sought naturalization, but the conviction was also overturned by the Supreme Court in 1953. The government’s attempts to revoke Bridges’s citizenship—granted in 1945—in the civil courts finally ended in 1954. He was, however, jailed briefly for making critical comments about the Korean War. He retired from union work in 1977.
Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . Neil A. Wynn . 2015.